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DEL: Nuremberg’s rump troop reveals corona madness

The Nuremberg Ice Tigers suffered a clear defeat in Augsburg with minimal players – but the game actually only produced losers.

The sad climax of the crazy Corona season in German ice hockey could only be endured with biting irony for the Nuremberg Ice Tigers. “By the way, you can also sell the ten free places on our players’ bench,” the club replied to the Augsburg Panthers, who had advertised the ticket purchase for the Bavarian derby on Twitter.

The large gaps on the Nuremberg bench were the symbolic image for a game that should have damaged the German Ice Hockey League (DEL). The Ice Tigers described the 4:9 defeat as a “model without value” and “a caricature of an ice hockey game” – and hit the nail on the head.

With a rump squad of only eleven field players and two goalkeepers, the fight was hopeless from the start, even if the corona-plagued Nuremberg team did a very respectable job against a full Augsburg team. Until they ran out of strength. “It was a farce,” said Nuremberg’s managing director Wolfgang Gastner to SID: “It must not happen again.” Head coach Tom Row fumed: “That was ridiculous and puts the players in a health-threatening situation.”

Nuremberg had tried to postpone the game due to numerous positive tests and training failures. But the formula, which the Ice Tigers also approved before the season, says: 10+1 = playable. Only an officially ordered team quarantine could have prevented the game – but that didn’t happen. Also because many in the Nuremberg team have already been boosted.

Legs at Mebus “a bit heavier” after mammoth match

“In that case, the honest one is the stupid one,” said Gastner, whose club also strictly adheres to the “return-to-play protocol”. Exposing professionals suffering from Corona to competitive sports earlier than recommended is out of the question for Gastner because of possible long-term COVID-related damage: “For me, safety comes before points.”

During the Olympic break, he wants to convince other league officials to increase the minimum number of playable field players from ten to 13. You can’t win a game with just two lines of attack, like Nuremberg played against Augsburg – anyone who has ever played ice hockey knows that.

“The bad thing is that you almost have to be disappointed that we didn’t take any points here,” said Nuremberg defender Oliver Mebus on “MagentaSport”. He himself stood on the ice for a record-breaking 31:25 minutes, almost everyone in Nuremberg managed more than 30 shifts. The legs were “a little heavier” than usual and he was glad “that it’s over,” Mebus admitted.

That applied to everyone. And yet it should have an aftermath, because the idea of ​​competition was undermined here. Even more obvious than with the many game failures that are communicated by the DEL almost every day.

In their distress, the Nurembergers joked that sports director Stefan Ustorf, assistant coach Manuel Kofler and physiotherapist Thomas Schinko, who had once been successful players, could be given jerseys. Gallows humor and biting irony – there was no other way the Ice Tigers could endure this used day.

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